The 2010-11 Stanley Cup playoffs have begun. Our beloved Bruins have played three games so far and it has not been very pretty. The Bruins earned the ever important home-ice advantage in the best of seven series by being number three in the Eastern Conference. However, this did not seem to help them. The Bruins played in front of a sold out TD Garden for Game 1 and blew it, absolutely blew it. Losing 2-0 to the Montreal Canadiens at home is one thing. Being completely out played and losing to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at home is an absolute dagger in the Boston fans. You’re right…losing one game is not a big deal but when you lose the way the Bruins did and show little intensity, it is.
So after game 1, the thought is rebound in game 2, right? Nope. We’re not that lucky either. As Boston sports fans, we are used to this but that doesn’t mean we know how to deal with it. Game 2 was a dud just like game 1. Missing Chara had nothing to do the loss. We lost game 1 with Chara and game 2 was no better nor any worse than game 1. Luckily, the Bruins did score their first goal of the playoffs finally after 4-plus periods on playoff hockey…geeze.
After the first two games, I’m sure people starting thinking of what the team needed to do to win. Switch up the lines? Sit Ryder? Put in Seguin? As always, I have my own ideas on what needed to be done. First off, putting Seguin in would not really do much. Yes, he’s got speed but it would not be an end-all solution. While Seguin has that breakaway potential, he is still a kid. He doesn’t win battles along the boards, doesn’t backcheck well nor forecheck. These are the skills that win playoff hockey games. Then there’s Ryder. How much of a non factor has he been? Bruins tough guy Shawn Thornton has more shots on net than him despite having significantly less time on ice. No offense to Thornton, but when your enforcer has more shots than one of your “snipers” it’s time for someone to watch the game from the press box. Go ahead and sit Ryder. No complaints for me on doing that. Put in Trent Whitfield. Whitfield’s playoff experience is only 18 games but he is a grinder. He’s going to go out there and put everything he’s got into every play. Something I don’t see from Ryder.
Game 3…a little better. The first period was promising. The Bruins played their game and looked like a completely different team. The rest of the game was okay and the end of the was nothing to talk about. The Bruins managed to win but still didn’t play well for 60 minutes and were definitely lucky with two of their goals. Being lucky is fine with me and I’ll certainly take the win but they NEED to step their game up big time. The powerplay needs to convert and they need to battle for every puck and get to the net. You can’t count on luck getting you through a seven games series in the playoffs.
Game 3 also had the best fight of the series. I may complain about Ference sometimes but he won’t miss a chance to put an opposing player in their place. And in typical Montreal style, Pouliot dropped the gloves but left his visor on, limiting Ference’s punches to the face. If you wear a visor, either don’t drop the gloves or if you do, drop the helmet too. I know there’s no rule and there never will be but still just take it off. (And yes, Bruins have left their visors on too and I think that’s wrong, too.)
It’s no surprise that I don’t like the Canadiens. Are there any fans outside Montreal that do? In some ways, the fans and media in Montreal are worse than the team. Montreal fans cried foul and went so far as to call 911 after the infamous Chara hit. After the February 9th 8-6, fight filled beatdown their fans ranted about how the Bruins were nothing more than goons. Perhaps the fans up North didn’t get the memo that playing tough isn’t playing dirty – but diving to get calls is. As Jack Edwards said, diving is just a new form of lying. You can call me biased since I am a Bruins fan but there were obvious examples of it in game 1 I believe. I wish I had jotted down the exact plays but I didn’t. If you ever want a good laugh, read Montreal media about the Bruins or other confused fans that think the Bruins are goonish and Boston fans know nothing about hockey. They may claim we know nothing but at least we don’t boo the Canadian national anthem. Well, I’m just going to stop here before I go on a real rant.
With all of that said, here’s the situation: the Canadiens lead the series two games to one. Game 4 is on Thursday in Montreal. The Bruins need to show up with their A game Thursday night. They need to play 60 minutes the way the first 20 were played on Monday night. Want to win. Skate. Hit. Win Pucks. Don’t give the Canadiens anything.
The best way for the Bruins to make up for the two losses at home is to win two on the road, bring the series back to Boston, dominate in game 5, slap the Canadiens silly in game 6 and take it to the next round, ready for whoever is next.
I have faith…do you?
Pierce Arrow Blogger